part seventeen

I was extremely nervous about seeing this therapist. I’d spoken to her intake person and explained about my husband and his hospital experiences. She asked about me and the girls but I was having none of that. I was purely interested in helping R and learning whatever it was I needed to learn in order to help him and gain some peace in our life.

It’s interesting to me that as I just wrote the above, my thoughts went to ‘why was this all about him?’ The only thing I can think of is that it was always about someone else. Never about me. To this day, if it’s about me, I’d rather not thank you. It’s yet one more reason I continue to write. I’m determined to learn how to take care of me.

I don’t remember much about our first few visits to see this therapist. Her name was Joanne. She seemed like a nice enough woman. I’m sure there was a lot of history learning for her but I really can’t remember anything else except the way the light came through her windows as we were sitting in her office. I can see how it lighted one side of her face and the carpet beyond and I remember the sound-proofing materials used on her office door. Weird what the mind takes in.

I don’t remember how many times R and I saw her together but I think he went alone some and I went with him a few times too. I do, however, remember the day about 6 months in when she asked me a question and I looked directly in her eyes and said “I’m not going to answer that question with him here in the room because when we get home, it will get ugly.”

She paused, looking from me to R and back, and said “We could talk alone if you’d like. Or, we could schedule a time for you to come by yourself. I’m sure R can understand how difficult this must be for you given your experiences together.” R said “Oh yea, I know this has been awful for her and I understand why she doesn’t want to say some things while I’m here.” I agreed to come alone and we left it at that. I’m not sure how long it was until that appointment but I do remember being nauseous and afraid before I went.

When I was there, Joanne asked me how I was. I told her that I was not happy about having the attention focused on me. Go figure. I don’t remember one thing we talked about during those sessions by myself. I do remember that after I’d gone for a couple of them, R stopped going altogether. He always had an excuse and decided he didn’t need it anymore. I must have objected but honestly, I don’t remember much about it. He was fairly stable and I know I was relieved and not willing to make an issue out of it all.

During this time I remember being taken under the wing of a brother and sister in the congregation who lived not too far from us. Bryant and Charlotte. They were very sweet to my girlies and me and they were good to R as well. I learned later that they were extremely judgemental but during our time together, I was so grateful to have someone who cared about what happened to me personally.

A few months after R was stablilized on his meds and back to work, he came up to me one day and said “After getting so close to death, I think having another baby would reaffirm life for me…for us.” I looked at him for a few moments and said “Are you sure?” I’d wanted a third child but was pretty sure our two would be it in view of all the hoopla in our life. He said “Yes I’m sure.” So, against my better judgement I said “Alright” and we began trying to make a baby.

It had taken 13 months and 2 rounds of fertility drugs to conceive baby #2 so I was pretty sure it would be more of the same. I was relieved to know I had some time but I really wanted another baby and was willing to put aside my doubts to do it. When I was not pregnant 5 months later, I called my ob and she ordered me up some drugs. Three rounds and one miscarriage later, I finally told R that one more cycle was all I was doing. If there were no more babies, there were no more babies and that was it. Of course, you know I got pregnant. You can probably also guess that he was not the nicest about it taking all this time to make it happen either.

I went to meetings as much as I could. R wasn’t interested in the least. It was probably because every time he went there, he was approached by brothers interested in his health and asking him where he’d been all this time and blah, blah, blah. He generally came home from meetings in a much worse mood than when we left the house. Frankly, it was easier for me if he didn’t go. By this time, he was pretty stabliized on his meds and the girls were able to spend time with him again. It was good…for them and for him. Those girls loved their daddy.

During JW meetings, there are periods of time when the congregation is expected to take part in the meetings by commenting about the various subjects being discussed. I simply could not do it. It was quite literally too much for me. Too much attention, too much thinking, too much everything. So I never raised my hand. Ever. The subject came up fairly often. Commenting was considered a sign of one’s spirituality and I, apparently, had none…or at least not enough that I was moved to speak during meetings. I never, for one moment, doubted that I was not good enough or spiritual enough. I knew that I needed to do better commenting and going out in service. I simply didn’t know how to do better. If I said I was discouraged and going through alot, I was told to study more and pray more and rely on Jehovah more. I just didn’t measure up…in so many ways.

I didn’t tell anyone when I learned I was pregnant. Well, ok, I told R. But that was it. I knew I’d get comments about having another baby when I didn’t do well enough with the ones I had. When I was 8 or 9 weeks along, I began bleeding. I totally expected to lose the baby. I called my doctor and she ordered an ultrasound. At this stage of the game, there is nothing they can do if you are losing your baby but she wanted to check for a heartbeat anyway. I know she hoped to comfort me somewhat. I took no one with me for that appointment.

The tech was a sweetie and had the tissue ready when we saw the little peanuts heartbeat going strong. They gave me a due date of 10/23 and sent me home to await instructions from my doctor. The doctor called me and told me the baby was currently viable and that I was to keep my feet up for the next few weeks. She told me the bleeding would either settle down or it wouldn’t. I stocked up on books and spent the next almost 3 weeks laying down in our living room with books for me and movies for the girlies. I was scared but resigned to whatever happened.

to be continued


4 responses to this post.

  1. “The only thing I can think of is that it was always about someone else. Never about me. To this day, if it’s about me, I’d rather not thank you. It’s yet one more reason I continue to write. I’m determined to learn how to take care of me.”

    Totally understandable. and how healthy you know you need to continue writing. You’re a wise woman. I’m sending a hug for your continued introspective journey.


  2. Hi honey! I’m heading to bed — so tired!! I’m not going to read right now, just wanted to say thanks, and I can’t wait to read this tomorrow. Sending another hug!


  3. Oh. I’m familiar with the way a zealous community can ensure that you know at all times you don’t measure up in zillions of tiny ways. Wow. So happy little peanut’s heart is strong!!!! Like her mama’s…


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